(4 out of 5 stars)
"The impetus behind this album was, of course, the PMRC hearings on labelling/censoring offensive rock lyrics. The album is a mixed bag of material -- 5 studio tracks with a band, 3 synclavier compositions, and 2 collage tracks. They're somewhat hapharzadly thrown together, making the album extremely disjointed -- but there is a lot of great material on this album, nevertheless.
The opener, "I Don't Even Care," is a waste of 5 minutes. Its essentually a groove set down in studio by Zappa's band, with "I don't even care" sung in the background while Johnny "Guitar" Watson (not credited?) ad libs some lines. No solo, though you keep waiting for one. The song goes nowhere and is extremely repetitive.
Then follows 3 synclavier compositions, "One Man One Vote," "Little Beige Sambo," and "Aerobics in Bondage." These are pretty good. "One Man One Vote" is the least interesting, but the other two are extremely worthy compositions that measure up to the best material on Jazz From Hell.
The next 4 tracks are all Zappa classics that rank among his best work. "We're Turning Again" is a hilarious swipe at hippie culture, brilliantly arranged with a great hook. There's a great re-mix of this, and "Yo Cats" on the Have I Offended Somebody? compilation. "Alien Orifice" is a jaw-dropper. Get the Make A Jazz Noise Here album to hear the '88 band perform this sucker live! Zappa at his best.
"Yo Cats" is a great Ike Willis crooner, taking a shot at professional musicians. "What's New In Baltimore" is the best track on the album -- rarely can Zappa's work be desribed as "beautiful," but the opening guitar/percussion run on this song deserves the charge. The solo is one of Zappa's greatest.
"Porn Wars" and "H.R. 2911" (a bonus track) are both sound collages, mixing sound effects, synclavier, guitar, and looping the taped hearings of the PMRC in congress. Its amusing -- especially the extra clips from the people in the piano from the Lumpy Gravy album (one of my favorites!). Also, you'll get to hear Al Gore profess to be a Mothers fan, which is PRICELESS. But it drags on far too long.
Doesn't work as an album, since it has no cohesive direction, but some of the material on this album is great."
My FIRST FZ purchase.
K. L. Woomer | San Antonio Texas | 06/06/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Simply the greatest. Little Beige Sambo, Aerobics in Bondage, what's new in baltimore, We're turning again, alien orifice, and PORN WARS make this a verifyable GREATEST HITS package for the latter part of FZ releases. And it all on one release. I was totally blown away in 1986 when someone gave this to me to listen to. I just had to get more from this artist, then started my big chase to get them all. This recording is just simply FZ full of passion, blasting ideas like a torch into steel. He was full of fire and ideas and it was most likely his last release of all new music until his death. Great stuff. GET THIS CD."